Thursday, December 17, 2020

Ten top house parties in fiction

David Leavitt's fiction has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize, the National Book Critics' Circle Award and the LA Times Fiction Prize, and shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Award. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Harper's and Vogue, among other publications. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he is Professor of English at the University of Florida and edits the literary magazine Subtropics.

Leavitt's latest novel is Shelter in Place.

At the Guardian he tagged ten great house parties in fiction, including:
Her First American by Lore Segal (1985)

In this, my favourite novel by one of the US’s most enduring and underappreciated writers (still publishing at the age of 92!), Ilka Weissnix – a young Jewish refugee recently arrived in New York from Vienna – stumbles into a love affair with Carter Bayoux, a sixtysomething black intellectual, and, through him, is introduced into a world utterly unlike anything she has known before. Set mostly in New York, Her First American includes a long middle section in which the members of Carter’s circle gather at a summer house in Connecticut – a transatlantic equivalent of the British house party.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue